Cambridge Cycling Campaign strongly welcomes the county council’s proposals for changes on Hills Road and Huntingdon Road. These schemes represent a clear step-change in thinking about how to get more people cycling, easily and safely, in Cambridge.
Cambridge has some good off-road and quiet routes for cycling, if you know where to find them. So far, major roads have been a glaring omission in the city’s cycle network. Such important and direct routes need to be available to all those who cycle, or would like to cycle, including the young, the old, and the less confident.
We believe the proposals will bring the following benefits to users:
- Cycle routes suitable for everyone. Separated cycle infrastructure gives freedom and mobility to young and old, away from motor traffic.
- Reduction of bus and cycle conflict. People on bikes do not have buses pulling in front of them to reach a stop. Buses do not have to constantly overtake people on bikes. Removing such manoeuvres makes cycling and bus driving easier.
- Continuous bus and cycle routes. Buses do not need to wait for a gap to pull in to and out of bus stops. People on bikes do not need to wait at side roads when travelling straight on.
- Keeping the pavement for pedestrians. Cycling on shared-use paths, such as those on Hills Road, causes conflict and is especially disconcerting for those with mobility, hearing or sight problems. The proposals will provide separate safe spaces for both cyclists and pedestrians, removing any need to cycle amongst pedestrians.
- Bus passengers do not have to exit directly onto cycle paths, as occurs on Hills Road at present. The proposed islands will provide a safe space to leave and join the bus which is not in the cycle lane.
- New cycle journeys from people who drive. The city is heavily congested, with some people who would like to cycle feeling unable to do so among heavy motor traffic. More cycled journeys on segregated lanes means the road is clear for those journeys which have to be made by car.
We are still discussing the details of our response to the consultation, and there are certainly areas that we think need careful attention. The consultation asks which of three options to pursue, and we are considering all of them.
We view the proposals in the context of necessary future changes to large junctions on these roads, and to a future outbound lane on Huntingdon Road.
We want travelling by bike to be safe and convenient for everyone, and the proposals for Hills Road and Huntingdon Road are an important step towards that goal.